Skip to main content

The standard by which we live

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself. (Henry Ward Beecher)

I have a small sign in my office that was given to me some years ago. It was given as a way of reminding me of my importance as a leader in healthcare. I was actually being honored by my peers when I received it, but it has been with me ever since because it reminds me of a very important fact - we lead by example. The sign simply says, "Every time we walk by the violation of a standard, we set a new standard." I believe this is a derivation of what Lieutenant General David Morrison said when he is quoted as saying, "The standard you walk past is the standard you accept." There are times we 'set new standards' because our behavior doesn't match the past standard we had come to follow, aren't there? When we drift from a standard, what is one of the most common things we do? Don't we attempt to cover it up by making an excuse for that violation of the standard? Rarely do we find ourselves acknowledging our variation in standard as a path we should not have taken in the first place. Whenever we do acknowledge that 'wrong path', we aren't setting a new standard, we are finally sharing that we aren't willing to accept excuses for our wrong behavior.

If you excuse yourself, saying, “Look, we didn’t know anything about this,” doesn’t God, who knows what you are really thinking, understand your motives? Isn’t your Protector aware of why you aren’t protecting the innocent? Will He not repay you in kind? (Proverbs 24:12)

Behavior is somewhat based upon the situation - at least that is what we'd like to tell ourselves. If we can 'blame' the circumstances for our behavior, we don't have to shoulder the blame ourselves. The problem with this type of action on our part is that there will always be some 'circumstance' that we can blame! We will never shoulder the blame, or make the right course corrections - we will never be observed adjusting our behavior 'back to standard' if we are always shifting the blame. The standard is declared in the Word of God - it was modeled in his Son's life while on earth - and it can be seen in the lives of others who adhere to these standards themselves. We are not without positive examples of how to behave - we just might turn a blind eye to those standards! Our true heartfelt motives are often revealed in the worst of times. I'd have to say that things are kind of tough right now for our nation. We are having to adjust to business and school closures, a lack of income for some who are forced to 'not work' during the shutdown, and even a lack of supply for others as the demands seem to be escalating all around us. How we face these 'circumstances' right now might just reveal a little bit of our underlying motives.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can oftentimes find the places where we have allowed a new standard to be set in our lives. Stop for just a moment to consider the last action you took in terms of what you said or did for or toward another individual. Was it honorable? Was it done from a right motivation? Did it build up? Did it meet a need? If we perhaps snatched up the last bag of dried beans or package of toilet paper off the shelf when we already have a stockpile at home, we might have to acknowledge the action was neither honorable or with the right motive. If we then took those beans and toilet paper to a shut-in senior who cannot find a way to the grocer right now, we might say those actions built up and provided for a real need for that senior. Our actions speak very clearly of our motivation - they also reveal the standard by which we live. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean